250Mil BC In 2006 an apparent crater as big as
Ohio was found in Antarctica. Scientists thought it was carved by a
space rock that caused the greatest mass extinction on Earth about
245Mil BC Researchers in 2006 said floodwaters
likely overflowed river banks in parts of Antarctica about this
time, sending water and sand across the landscape and into various
animal homes, such as burrows. No animal bones or remains were found
inside the burrows, suggesting the burrow dweller must have escaped
the deluge. The burrows' sizes and shapes, along with associated
scratch marks, are nearly identical to tetrapod burrows found in
South Africa also dating to the Triassic.
170Mil BC In 2004 scientists reported the
discovery in Antarctica of primitive sauropod, a plant-eating
dinosaur, from this time.
(SFC, 2/27/04, p.A2)
100Mil BC In 2011 it was reported that the
discovery of a single sauropod vertebra on James Ross Island in
Antarctica reveals that these behemoths, which included Diplodocus,
Brachiosaurus and Apatosaurus, lived on the continent about 100
million years ago.
70Mil BC In 2004 scientists reported the discovery
in Antarctica of a small meat-eating therapod dinosaur from this
(SFC, 2/27/04, p.A2)
20Mil BC-15Mil BC In Antarctica a geologic basin
formed during a tectonic upheaval that later led to the formation of
the sub-glacial Lake Vostok.
(SFC, 8/2/04, p.A6)
15Mil BC Lake Vostok became sealed from the
surface of Antarctica about this time.
(Econ, 3/31/07, p.87)
12Mil BC Studies in 2011 of tiny pollen fossils
buried deep beneath the seafloor suggested that the last remnant of
vegetation in Antarctica vanished about this time.
1.8Mil BC-1.2 Mil BC The Ross Sea off Antarctica
was 6-7 degrees warmer. This was determined from shellfish fossils
and 15 previously unknown species of algae found under the seabed
off Cape Roberts.
(SFC, 1/31/98, p.A10)
1MilBC The mean residence time
for the water in Lake Vostok was one million years as compared to 6
years for Lake Ontario. Scientists in 1999 discovered living
bacteria and theorized that the lake was warmed either by hot magma
beneath the Earth's crust or by the downward pressure of ice.
12638BC A very rapid sea level rise is thought to
have occurred 14,650 years ago but details about the event have been
unclear. In 2012 scientists said the collapse of an ice sheet in
Antarctica about this time might have caused sea levels to rise
between 14 and 18 meters (46-60 feet).
11000BC A meteorite from Mars (ALH 84001),
discovered in 1984, landed in Antarctica about this time. It had
been knocked into space from Mars around 16 million BC. Scientists
in 1996 claimed to have found evidence of organic minerals,
polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, in the meteorite that formed some
3.6 billion years ago.
(SFC, 8/7/96, p.A1,9)(SSFC, 2/19/06, p.M6)
8000BC About this time the West Antarctic ice
sheet started retreating at a rate of about 2 inches per year.
(SFC, 1/3/03, p.A7)
1773 Jan 17, Captain James Cook
became the first person to cross the Antarctic Circle (66d 33'
(HN, 1/17/99)(MC, 1/17/02)
1820 Jan 30, Edward Bransfield
discovered Antarctica and claimed it for the UK.
1820 Nov 18, U.S. Navy Capt.
Nathaniel B. Palmer discovered the frozen continent of Antarctica.
1837 French explorer Dumont
dUrville (1790-1842) sailed along a coastal area of Antarctica that
he named the Adélie Coast in honor of his wife. He also named the
Adelie penguin after his wife.
1838 Aug 18, Six US Navy ships
departed Hampton Roads, Va., led by Lt. Charles Wilkes on a 3-year
mission called the US South Seas Exploring Expedition, the "U.S. Ex.
Ex." The mission proved Antarctica to be a continent. Wilkes was
tried in a military court for abuses of power, but was generally
acquitted. In 2003 Nathaniel Philbrick authored "Sea of Glory," an
account of the expedition.
(Econ, 11/8/03, p.80)(WSJ, 11/12/03,
1838-1842 Lt. Charles Wilkes led a 3-year mission
called the US South Seas Exploring Expedition. In 1975 William
Stanton authored The Great United States Exploring Expedition. In
1961 The American Phil. Society published Titian Ramsay Peale,
1799-1885, And His Journals of the Wilkes Expedition.
(ON, 3/00, p.9)
1840 Jan 19, Charles B. Wilkes,
captain of the US flagship Vincennes, claimed the discovery of
Antarctica. Wilkes Land was later named in his honor. The American
explorer, born April 3, 1798, coasted along part of the Antarctic
barrier from about 150 degrees east to 108 degrees east, the areas
that were subsequently named Wilkes Land. Wilkes officers disputed
the Jan 19 sighting but acknowledged that land was sighted Jan 28
and Feb 15.
(HNQ, 1/12/99)(ON, 3/00, p.8)
1901 Robert Falcon Scott made
an expedition to the Antarctic. He noted the phenomena called Earth
shadows, where long dark arrows would project into the sky early in
the morning. They were later realized by explorer Ernest Shackleton
 to be shadows from the peaks of Mt. Erebus cast across the
(WSJ, 7/1/97, p.A6)(WSJ, 4/2/98, p.B1)
1907-1909 Murray Levick was the naturalist on the
Ernest Shackleton south polar expedition. [see 1908]
(NH, 8/96, p.36)
1908 Ernest Shackleton's polar
exploration team established a staging platform to Antarctica at
Cape Royds, Ross Island. A prefab cabin was built big enough for 15
(WSJ, 3/30/05, p.D12)
1909 Jan 9, A Polar exploration
team led by Ernest Shackleton reached 88 degrees, 23 minutes south
longitude, 162 degrees east latitude. They were 97 nautical miles
short of the South Pole, but the weather was too severe to continue.
1909 Jan 16, One of Ernest
Shackleton's polar exploration teams reached the Magnetic South
1909 Mar 23, British Lt.
Shackleton found the magnetic South Pole.
1909 The Polar exploration team
led by Ernest Shackleton abandoned its Antarctic expedition as
winter ice formed and left behind 5 crates of whiskey and brandy. An
Antarctic Heritage Trust team found the crates in 2006. One crate,
labeled Mackinlay's whisky, was recovered in 2010 and shipped to New
Zealand for testing.
1910 Jun 15, The ship Terra
Nova departed Cardiff, Wales, on its expedition to the Ross Sea and
South Pole. Expedition leader Robert Falcon Scott joined the
ship in South Africa. Herbert Ponting (1870-1935) served as the
expedition photographer and cinematographer. In this role, he
captured some of the most enduring images of the Heroic Age of
1911 Jan 2, The Terra Nova
expedition led by Robert Falcon Scott reached the coast of
(ON, 6/20/11, p.5)
1911 Jun 27, Appsley
Cherry-Gerrard, an English aristocrat and the youngest member of the
Robert Falcon Scott South Pole expedition, began a 5 week
expedition, lit by 5 hour-days of twilight, hauling a sledge on a
hunt for pelican eggs that Scott wanted. He was accompanied by Lt.
Henry Bowers and ornithologist Dr. Edward Wilson In 1922 he authored
The Worst Journey in the World. The author was later part of the
rescue party that eventually found the frozen bodies of Scott and
three men who had accompanied Scott on the final push to the Pole.
(WSJ, 4/28/07, p.P8)(ON, 6/20/11, p.6)
1911 Oct 19, A team, consisting
of Olav Bjaaland, Helmer Hanssen, Sverre Hassel, Oscar Wisting, and
Roald Amundsen set out from base camp Framheim on a 2nd to reach the
South Pole. They reach the South Pole on Dec 14.
1911 Oct 24, Robert Scott's
expedition left Cape Evans for South Pole.
1911 Nov 10, George Levick, a
surgeon and the medical officer on Scott's famous 1910-1913
expedition to the South Pole, wrote in Greek (translated here):
"This afternoon I saw a most extraordinary site [sic]. A Penguin was
actually engaged in sodomy upon the body of a dead white throated
bird of its own species. The act occurred a full minute, the
position taken up by the cock differing in no respect from that of
ordinary copulation, and the whole act was gone through down to the
final depression of the cloaca."
1911 Dec 14, Norwegian explorer
Roald Amundsen became the first man to reach the South Pole, beating
an expedition led by Robert F. Scott. The best book on Scott and
Amundsen is by Roland Huntford "Scott and Amundsen."
(AP, 12/14/97)(SFEC, 1/24/99, BR p.1,6)
1912 Jan 16, British explorer
Robert Falcon Scott wrote in his diary after reaching the South Pole
on January 16, 1912, "Great God this is an awful place and terrible
enough for us to have labored to it without the reward of priority."
Robert Scott, attempting to lead the first exploration party to the
South Pole, wrote the passage after finding the black flag of
Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen. Thoroughly demoralized, the five
members of the Scott party died during their 800-mile trek back to
their base camp. [see Jan 18]
1912 Jan 18, The expedition of
British Royal Navy Captain Robert Falcon Scott intended to be the
first to reach the South Pole, but when they arrived they found a
letter from Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, who had been there
over a month earlier. Scott and his group had set out from a camp in
Antarctica 81 days earlier, and on their way back, their supplies
ran out. Scott wrote in a diary during the trek, which a search
party discovered with the team's frozen bodies in November. Part of
Scott's March 29 entry reads, "We shall stick it out to the end, but
we are getting weaker, of course, and the end cannot be far." The
team had made it to within 11 miles of the camp. Scott's diary ended
with, "Last Entry: For God's sake look after our people." [see Jan
(AP, 1/18/98)(HNPD, 1/18/99)
1912 Feb 15, The Fram reached
latitude 78ř 41' S, farthest south ever by ship.
(440 Intl., 2/15/99)
1912 Mar 7, Roald Amundsen
announced the discovery of the South Pole [see Dec 14, 1911].
1912 Mar 29, Capt. Robert F.
Scott, British pole explorer, storm-bound in a tent near South Pole,
made a last entry in his diary: "Last entry. For God's sake look
after our people."
1912 Nov 12, Robert Scott's
diary and dead body were found in Antarctica.
1912 The Australian Antarctic
Expedition of 1911-1914 began using an airplane to tow gear onto the
ice in preparation for their sledging journeys. The plane, the first
from France's Vickers factory, had not been seen since the
mid-1970s, when researchers photographed the steel fuselage nearly
encompassed in ice. Australian researchers stumbled on remains of
the plane on Jan 1, 2010.
1914 Aug, Sir Ernest Shackleton
(40) left England on a voyage to Antarctica with a 27 man crew on
the HMS Endurance. He planned to lead the Imperial
Trans-Continental Expedition, a dog-sled party across the
(WSJ, 4/2/98, p.B15)(ON, 5/00, p.9)
1914 Dec 5, Sir Ernest
Shackleton left South Georgia Island on the HMS Endurance in the
Weddell Sea in Antarctica.
(Hem. 1/95, p. 28)(WSJ, 4/2/98, p.B1)
1915 Jan 18, The HMS Endurance,
under Sir Ernest Shackleton and his 27 man crew, froze into the ice
of Antarctica. In 1999 Caroline Alexander published "The Endurance:
Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition."
(Hem. 1/95, p. 28)(WSJ, 4/2/98, p.B1)(SFEC,
1/24/99, BR p.1)
1915 Aug 27, Frank Hurley,
photographer, took a picture of the Endurance trapped in the ice.
(SFEC, 1/24/99, BR p.1)
1915 Oct 27, Ernest Shackleton
and the crew of the Endurance abandoned their ship in the Antarctic
(WSJ, 4/16/99, p.W14)(ON, 5/00, p.10)
1915 Nov 21, The HMS Endurance,
under Sir Ernest Shackleton and his 27 man crew, sank in the Weddell
Sea of Antarctica. The whole crew escaped on 3 lifeboats that
included the James Caird. They drifted for 5 months and when the
ice broke rowed to Elephant Island. Shackleton then rowed the Caird
for 800 miles with 5 men to South Georgia Island and returned to
pick up the 21 men left behind. Frank Hurley captured the sinking on
35-mm movie film. In 1933 F.A. Worsely, the captain of the
Endurance, authored Shackletons Boat Journey. In 1999 Caroline
Alexander authored The Endurance.
(WSJ, 4/2/98, p.B1,15)(SFEC, 1/24/99, BR
p.6)(WSJ, 4/16/99, p.W14)(ON, 5/00, p.10)(WSJ, 4/28/07, p.P8)
1916 Apr 14, Sir Ernest
Shackleton and his 27 man crew landed at Elephant Island off the
(ON, 5/00, p.10)
1916 May 8, Sir Ernest
Shackleton with 6 men man crew completed a 16-day voyage of 800
miles from Elephant Island to South Georgia Island in the lifeboat
(ON, 5/00, p.10)
1916 May 20, Sir Ernest
Shackleton with 2 men reached a whaling station on St. Georgia
Island after their ship sank in the ice of Antarctica. Shackletons
own account of the venture was titled: "South." In 1959 Alfred
Lansing wrote Endurance: Shackletons Incredible Voyage. A
biography of Shackleton was written in 1985 by Roland Huntford.
(WSJ, 4/2/98, p.B1)(SFEC, 1/24/99, BR p.6)(ON,
1916 Aug 30, Sir Ernest
Shackleton rescued the crew he had left behind on Elephant Island.
(WSJ, 4/16/99, p.w14)
1919 The documentary film
South by Frank Hurley was about the Shackelton expedition to the
(WSJ, 11/8/99, p.A48)
1921 Sir Ernest Shackleton
sailed back to South Georgia.
(SSFC, 5/20/01, p.T11)
1922 Jan 5, Sir Ernest
Shackleton (47) died of a heart attack at sea enroute from South
Georgia Island to Antarctica. He was buried on South Georgia Island.
In 1924 Hugh Robert Mill authored The Life of Sir Ernest
(ON, 5/00, p.10)(SSFC, 5/20/01, p.T11)
1928 Aug 25, An expedition led
by Richard E. Byrd set sail from Hoboken, N.J., on its journey to
1929 Nov 28, Commander Richard
E. Byrd embarked on the first South Pole flight.
(NPub, 2002, p.12)
1929 Nov 29, Navy Lt. Cmdr.
Richard E. Byrd radioed that he'd made the first airplane flight
over the South Pole: "My calculations indicate that we have reached
vicinity of South Pole." He was wrong [see 1888-1957, Byrd].
(TMC, 1994, p.1929)(HFA, '96, p.42)(AP,
11/29/97)(NPub, 2002, p.12)
1930 Jan 22, Adm. Richard Byrd
charted a vast area of Antarctica.
1936 Jan 14, American explorer
Lincoln Ellsworth and Canadian pilot Herbert Hollick-Kenyon were
rescued by the research ship Discovery II. The pair had made the
first flight across Antarctica, 2,300 miles from the Weddell Sea to
the Ross Sea. They landed when their plane's engine faltered, and
waited in the previously constructed shelter at Little America for a
month to be picked up. After his earlier attempts to cross
Antarctica failed, Ellsworth set out with Hollick-Kenyon in the
Northrop Gamma monoplane, Polar Star, and succeeded. Part of the
area that Ellsworth and Hollick-Kenyon flew over in 1935 has been
named the Ellsworth Highlands.
(HNPD, 1/14/99)(AH, 2/06, p.14)
1940-1941 A 59-man team under Adm. Richard E. Byrd
spent the winter on Antarctica. Dr. Harrison Holt Richardson (d.1999
at 80), was the youngest member of the team and took the first color
movies there. This was Byrd's 3rd mission there.
(SFEC, 8/1/99, p.D8)
c1950 Paul A. Siple, a US Army
Major and geographer, and Charles F. Passel, a geologist, measured
the heat loss from plastic cylinders filled with water and derived
an equation for measuring the bodys heat loss in the wind, the wind
chill factor. The derivation was later determined to be inaccurate
and in 2000 efforts were made for a new formula.
(WSJ, 12/18/00, p.A1)
1954 Nov 15, 1st regularly
scheduled commercial flights over North Pole began.
1954 Ardito Desio (d.2001)
became the 1st Italian to reach the South Pole.
(SFC, 12/14/01, p.A33)
1957 Feb 16, A U.S. flag flew
over an outpost in Wilkes Land, Antarctica.
1957 Mar 11, Richard E. Byrd
(68), US explorer (Antarctica), died.
1957 Jul 1, The International
Geophysical Year, an 18-month global scientific study, began. 12
nations established over 60 stations in Antarctica. The beginning of
international cooperation in Antarctica and the start of the process
by which Antarctica becomes "non-national."
1958 Jan 3, Edmund Hillary
reached the South Pole (Antarctica) overland. Hillary was part of a
joint New Zealand-British ice trek that drove farm tractors on the
Skelton Glacier to the South Pole. He beat Vivian Fuchs to the South
Pole by 17 days.
(SFC, 1/14/99, p.C2)(MC, 1/3/02)
1958 Mar 2, A multinational
expedition led by British geologist and explorer Vivian Fuchs
(d.1999 at 91) completed the first overland crossing of Antarctica
by way of the South Pole in 99 days.
(SFC, 11/13/99, p.A22)(AP, 3/2/08)
1958 Mar, Charles D. Keeling
(1928-2005) installed a gas analyzer on the slopes of Mauna Loa,
Hawaii. It gave a reading of 314 ppm for carbon dioxide. It was part
of the International Geophysical Year project and the carbon dioxide
research was under Keeling. The atmospheric chemist had begun
monitoring the pure air at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, and the South Pole.
Subsequent CO2 readings indicated climbed steadily and became known
as the Keeling Curve. After one year of gathering data it was clear
that the whole planet has an annual cycle for photosynthesis and
respiration that is visible by measuring carbon dioxide
concentration. [See 1988]. 50 years later the CO2 reading was about
387 parts per million.
p.B1)(Econ, 9/17/11, p.89)
1958 Sirs Vivian Fuchs and
Edmund Hillary published "The Crossing of Antarctica."
(SFC, 11/13/99, p.A22)
1958 The Gamburtsev mountains
were detected in East Antarctica during the first International
Polar Year exploration. The mountains were named after Soviet
geophysicist Grigoriy Aleksandrovich Gamburtsev (1903-1955), are
1,200 km (750 miles) long, with jagged peaks up to 2,700 m (8,900
feet) high intersected by deep troughs and valleys. Some 34 million
years ago, the mountains became smothered by the East Antarctic
icesheet, an area the size of Canada. A billion years ago several
mini-continents collided together to form a super-continent called
Gondwana, creating a mountain range at the point of impact. Periods
of rifting, some 250 million years ago and again about 100 million
years ago, pulled Gondwana apart in tectonic agony. This created a
3,000-km (2,000-mile) fracture in the planet's crust that extends
from East Antarctica across the ocean to India. A residual "root,"
combined with the rifting, helped force up the land that is now East
1959 Dec 1, Representatives of
12 countries signed the Antarctic Treaty in Washington DC setting
aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve, free from military
activity (effective in 1961). It was adopted by the governments of
Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, the French Republic, Japan,
New Zealand, Norway, the Union of South Africa, the Union of Soviet
Socialist Republics, the UK of Great Britain and Northern Ireland,
and the USA [see 1961]. By 2007 45 signatories agreed to suspend
territorial claims and disputes, to forego all military and mining
activity, and to protect the continent as a natural reserve devoted
to peace and science.
12/1/97)(www.aad.gov.au/default.asp?casid=1187)(Econ, 3/31/07, p.86)
1961 The Antarctic Treaty
entered into force. It was adopted to put on hold the issue of
ownership in the pursuit of peace and science.
1962 Mar 3, British Antarctic
Territory was formed.
1962 Mar 4, AEC announced 1st
atomic power plant in Antarctica in operation.
1965 The Norwegian whaling
stations on St. Georgia Island closed. Some 175,250 whales had been
(SSFC, 5/20/01, p.T11)
1978 Jan, Emilio Marco Palma
was the first child born on Antarctica.
(SFEC, 5/28/00, Z1 p.2)
1979 Nov 28, An Air New Zealand
DC10 en route to the South Pole crashed into Mount Erebus in
Antarctica, killing all 257 people aboard.
1979 Martin Pomerantz
(1916-2008, American astrophysicist, built a telescope at the South
Pole and propelled the new field of helio-seismology. In 1995 the
National Science Foundation dedicated the Martin A. Pomerantz
Observatory in Antarctica.
(SSFC, 11/2/08, p.B3)
1980 Dec 15, Charles Burton
(d.2002) and his party arrived at the South Pole on their 3-year
journey to follow the meridian line connecting Greenwich to the
North and South Poles.
(SFC, 7/18/02, p.A26)
1982 Mar 20, U.S. scientists
returned from Antarctica with the first land mammal fossils found
1983 Jul 21, The coldest
temperature ever measured on Earth was -128.6 Fahrenheit (-89.2
Celsius) at Vostok, Antarctica.
1984 Dec 27, Geologist Roberta
Score found the Martian meteorite labeled Allan Hills (ALH) 84001
while snowmobiling in the Antarctic. The 4.5 billion year old rock
was knocked of Mars by an asteroid some 16 million years earlier and
landed in Antarctica some 13,000 years before Scores find.
(PacDis, Winter 97, p.29)(SSFC, 2/19/06, p.M6)
1985 The thinning of the ozone
layer over the South Pole was first reported.
(NOHY, Weiner, 3/90, p.5)
1987 Oct, The iceberg B9 calved
from the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctic.
1988 Adventure Network Intl.
began flying tourists to the South Pole.
1989 Jan 28, In Antarctica an
Argentine navy ship, the Bahia Paraiso, was wrecked on rocks next to
DeLaca Island, near the US Palmer Station scientific base. It was
still leaking diesel fuel in 1996 and had decimated imperial
cormorant and kelp gull bird population.
1991 Oct 4, In Madrid, Spain,
26 nations, including the United States, signed the Antarctic
Treaty, which imposed a 50-year ban on oil exploration and mining in
Antarctica. It would be up for review in 2048. China acceded to the
treaty in 1983.
(AP, 10/4/01)(Econ, 11/16/13, p.50)
1992-2000 Some 7.5 cubic miles of the Pine Island
Glacier eroded over 8 years.
(SFC, 2/2/01, p.A14)
1994 Russian scientists
detected a large lake beneath 2˝ miles of Antarctic ice. It was
named Lake Vostok and measured 250km long and 50km wide.
(SFC, 8/2/04, p.A6)(Econ, 3/31/07, p.87)
1996 Aug 6, NASA scientists
presented evidence that a meteorite from Mars (ALH 84001) that was
found in Antarctica in 1984 contained organic minerals such as
carbonate globules, magnetite, iron sulfide and polycyclic aromatic
hydrocarbons. In 2001 Imre Friedmann (1921-2007), extreme
microbiologist, led a team of researchers to study the same
meteorite and claimed conclusive evidence that Mars had been teeming
with life 3.5 billion years ago. Researchers in 2007 said the
organic material in the rock was made by chemical reactions.
(SFC, 8/8/96, p.A6)(Econ, 6/30/07, p.96)(Econ,
1997 Dec 7, Three skydivers, 2
Americans and an Austrian, died while jumping to the South Pole on a
trip organized by Adventure Network Intl.
1998 Jan 14, An intl.
agreement on Antarctica took effect that banned mining and oil
drilling for 50 years and forbade a wide range of environmental
hazards including pesticides and dogs.
(SFC, 1/17/98, p.C16)
1998 Feb 7, It was reported
that the 8,000 Sq. mile Larsen B ice sheet in Antarctica was
breaking up due to rising global temperatures.
(SFC, 2/7/98, p.A5)
1998 Sara Wheeler published
Terra Incognita: Travels in Antarctica.
(WSJ, 3/27/98, p.W10)
1998 Jul 24, A report on the
West Antarctic Ice Sheet in Science said that changes have been
detected by satellite that might indicate a future collapse.
(SFEC, 8/2/98, p.A4)
1998 Sep, The ozone layer over
Antarctica grew to its largest size ever. It opened to 2 1/2 times
the size of Europe.
(SFC, 10/2/98, p.B3)
1999 Jan 13, The expedition to
reach the South Pole by Jon Muir, Peter Hillary and Eric Phillips,
called in outside support for food.
(SFC, 1/14/99, p.C2)
1999 Feb 8, A French helicopter
crashed in Antarctica and 3 people were killed.
(SFC, 2/9/99, p.A7)
1999 Sep, The ozone layer over
Antarctica was reported to have grown to over 8 million square
(SFC, 9/8/00, p.A7)
1999 Apr 9, The Antarctic
Larson B and Wilkins ice shelves were reported to have lost 1,100
sq. miles due to melting over the last year.
(SFC, 4/9/99, p.A16)
2000 Mar, An iceberg 183 miles
long and 22 miles wide, twice the size of Delaware, broke adrift in
the Ross Sea.
(SFC, 3/24/00, p.A8)
2000 May, An Australian
astrophysicist died at the Amundsen-Scott Base. It was only the 3rd
death at the pole in 35 years. It was only the 3rd death at the pole
in 35 years.
(SFC, 4/25/01, p.A9)
2000 Sep 7, It was reported
that the ozone layer over Antarctica had grown to 11 million square
(SFC, 9/8/00, p.A7)
2001 Feb 11, Ann Bancroft and
Liv Arnesen became the 1st women to cross the Antarctic land mass on
(SFC, 2/13/01, p.D3)
2001 Mar 26, It was reported
that scientists had detected high-energy neutrinos for the 1st time
in the Antarctic Muon and neutrino Detector Array (Amanda).
(SFC, 3/26/01, p.A6)
2001 Apr 24, A Twin Otter plane
landed at the Amundsen-Scott south Pole Station to pick up Dr.
Ronald Shemenski (59), who suffered from a gall bladder attack. A
C-130 Hercules from the New Zealand air force rescued 2 Americans
from the McMurdo Antarctic Base.
(SFC, 4/25/01, p.A9)(AP, 4/24/02)
2001 Apr 25, A rescue plane
flew out of the South Pole with ailing American doctor Ronald S.
Shemenski in the most daring airlift ever from the pole.
2001 Dec 29, Thousands of
Antarctic penguins were reported dead or dying due to giant icebergs
that cut the birds off from their food supply.
(SFC, 12/29/01, p.A2)
2002 Mar 19, Scientists
reported that the Larsen B ice shelf, covering some 1,250 square
miles, had collapsed into small icebergs over the last 35 days.
(SFC, 3/20/02, p.A1)
2002 Jun 27, Rescue helicopters
from the South African ship Agulhas picked up 21 Russian scientists
from the Magdalena Oldendorff, trapped in ice near Antarctica. 1,100
pounds of food was delivered to the remaining 86 people. Another 48
were rescued the next day.
(SFC, 6/28/02, p.A14)(SFC, 6/29/02, p.A14)
2003 Oct, A storm split apart
the world's largest iceberg (B15), about the size of Jamaica, off
the coast of Antarctica. It is believed to have caused the deaths of
millions of penguins after it blocked access to the sea from the
Ross Ice Shelf.
(SFC, 11/8/03, p.A26)
2003 Dec 20, A rescue team
picked up two injured British adventurers after their helicopter
crashed in the Antarctic during a round-the world voyage. Jennifer
Murray and Colin Bodill, who were attempting to circumnavigate the
Earth across both poles, were found "safe and well."
2004 Jan 10, Fiona Thornewill
(37), a British woman, completed her unaided solo hike to the South
Pole in record time. She walked 700 miles in 42 days broking the
previous record of 44 days for an unaided individual or team for
walking or skiing.
2004 Sep 23, Antarctic
researchers reported that the ice caps glaciers are now melting
twice as fast as in the 1990s and raising sea level.
(WSJ, 9/24/04, p.A1)
2004 Nov 3, British scientists
reported an 89% decline since the 1970s in stocks of Antarctic
krill, vital food for marine animals.
(WSJ, 11/4/04, p.A1)
2004 Walter Dean Myers authored
Antarctica: Journeys to the South Pole.
(SSFC, 11/14/04, p.E7)
2004 The South Pole Food Growth
Chamber began operating. It provided at least one fresh salad a day
during the winter months to the staff of the Amundsen-Scott South
(Econ, 12/11/10, TQ p.15)
2005 Sep 16, The UN said the
hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica has grown to near record
size this year, suggesting 20 years of pollution controls have so
far had little effect.
2005 Sep 19, Rescue teams
searched for two Argentine men whose snowmobile plunged into a deep
ice crevasse in Antarctica over the weekend, but hopes of pulling
them out alive were fading.
2005 Nov 25, The European
Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica reported that carbon dioxide in
the current atmosphere is greater than at any time during the last
(SFC, 11/25/05, p.A1)
2006 Mar 3, Research by NASA
showed that shrinkage of the Antarctic ice sheet over the last 3
years has raised global sea level by 1.2 millimeters.
(WSJ, 3/4/06, p.A1)
2006 Mar 30, Researchers
reported in the journal Science that record levels of greenhouse
gases may be trapping heat above the ice sheets of Antarctica.
(SFC, 3/31/06, p.A2)
2007 Jan, In Antarctica the
South Pole Telescope (SPT) opened to search signs of dark energy.
(Econ, 3/31/07, p.87)
2007 Feb 12, A Japanese whaling
ship issued a distress signal from Antarctic waters, after it
collided with a protest boat trying to save whales from slaughter.
2007 Feb 15, Officials warned
of a potential environmental disaster in Antarctica after fire
erupted on a Japanese whaling ship, as the search continued for a
missing crewmen from the crippled ship. The next day Japanese
officials said the ship posed no environmental threat.
(AP, 2/15/07)(AP, 2/16/07)
2007 Mar 31, It was reported
that Antarctica held about 90% of the worlds ice.
(Econ, 3/31/07, p.85)
2007 May 17, The journal
"Science" reported that Antarcticas Southern Ocean, a crucial
"carbon sink" into which 15 percent of the world's excess carbon
dioxide flows, is reaching saturation and soon may be unable to
absorb more , a deeply troubling development.
2007 Sep 5, The Belgian-based
International Polar Foundation unveiled what it claimed to be the
world's first zero-emissions polar science station in Antarctica to
conduct research on climate change.
2008 Jan 11, A historic
passenger jet flight from Australia to Antarctica touched down
smoothly on a blue ice runway, launching the only regular airlink
between the continents.
2008 Jan 12, America formally
opened its new $174 million base at the south Pole. It took almost
20 years to design and build.
(Econ, 1/19/08, p.89)
2008 Feb 28, In western
Antarctica a 160-square mile chunk of ice on the edge of the Wilkins
ice shelf began collapsing. It had been there for some 1,500 years.
In 2010 scientists suggested that break was the result of gravity
waves generated by a series of storms on the coast of Patagonia.
(SFC, 3/26/08, p.A4)(Econ, 2/20/10, p.79)
2008 Dec 16, NASA said
satellite data indicated that more than 2 trillion tons of land ice
in Alaska, Antarctica and Greenland since 2003 among the latest
signs of global warming.
(SFC, 12/17/08, p.A20)
2008 Dec 20, Militant
environmental activists said they had intercepted the Japanese
whaling fleet in Antarctic waters and attempted to attack one of the
boats with stink bombs.
2009 Jan 21, Scientists
reported that the entire Antarctic continent has been gradually
warming since at least 1957.
(SFC, 1/22/09, p.A10)
2009 Feb 24, A rocket carrying
a NASA satellite crashed near Antarctica after a failed launch,
ending a $280 million mission to track global warming from space.
2009 Dec 30, In Antarctica 7
women on a 562-mile trek reached the South Pole, 38 days after they
began their adventure to mark the 60th anniversary of the
(SFC, 12/31/09, p.A2)
2010 Jan 6, In the waters off
Antarctica the trimaran Ady Gil, a Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
boat, had its bow sheared off and was taking on water after it was
struck by the Shonan Maru 2, a Japanese whaling ship. The trimarans
6 crew members were safely transferred to the bob Barker, another of
the Society's vessels. The Ady Gil was left to sink the next day
after a tow rope snapped and the Bob Barker resumed its pursuit of
the Japanese whalers.
(AP, 1/6/10)(SFC, 1/6/10, p.A2)(AP, 1/8/10)
2010 Jan 16, A small part of
Antarctica turned green as the ice-covered continent's biggest wind
farm, which can generate enough electricity to power 500 homes, was
formally switched on in a joint New Zealand-US project on
Antarctica's Ross Sea coast.
2010 Feb 5, New Zealand
explorers said 5 crates of whisky and brandy belonging to polar
explorer Ernest Shackleton have been recovered after being buried
for more than 100 years under the Antarctic ice. The excavation of
the whisky followed the discovery last month of two blocks of butter
in an Antarctic hut used by British explorer Robert Falcon Scott on
his doomed 1910-12 expedition.
2010 Feb 6, The anti-whaling
ship the Bob Barker and a Japanese harpoon boat collided in the icy
waters off Antarctica the second major clash this year in the
increasingly aggressive confrontations between conservationists and
the whaling fleet.
2010 Feb 11, In the Antarctic
Ocean Sea Shepherd protesters shot butyric acid, produced from
stinking rancid butter, at Japanese whalers to try to disrupt the
annual whale hunt. The activists maintained that butyric acid is
2010 Feb 15, In Antarctic
waters Peter Bethune, a member of the US-based Sea Shepherd activist
group, jumped aboard the Shonan Maru 2 from a Jet Ski with the
stated goal of making a citizen's arrest of the ship's captain and
presenting him with a $3 million bill for the destruction of a
protest ship last month. The Japanese government said Bethune will
be charged with trespassing and assault and tried under Japanese
2010 Feb 12-2010 Feb 13, A
massive iceberg, about the size of Luxembourg, struck Antarctica,
dislodging another giant block of ice from the giant floating Mertz
Glacier and shaved off a new iceberg.
2010 Feb 27, Militant
anti-whalers declared an end to this season's pursuit of Japanese
harpoon ships in Antarctic waters, saying it was their most
successful and intensely fought campaign so far.
2010 Oct 28, A French
helicopter crashed in Antarctica during rough weather conditions
killing all 4 aboard. The downed AS350 Squirrel helicopter was
operated in Antarctica from the French research vessel, L'Astrolabe,
which was currently icebound about 230 miles (370 km) northeast of
the Dumont-d'Urville station.
(AP, 10/29/10)(AP, 10/30/10)
2010 Dec 13, A South Korean
fishing boat sank in the Antarctic Ocean's frigid waters, with 22
sailors feared killed in the open sea where vessels trawl for
deep-water fish. 20 survivors were rescued shortly after the 614-ton
vessel went down some 1,400 miles (2,250 km) south of New Zealand. 5
bodies were recovered and 17 men remained missing.
(AP, 12/13/10)(SFC, 12/14/10, p.A2)
2011 Nov 25, Felicity Aston
(33), a British adventurer, set out on skis from the Ross Ice Shelf
in a historic solo attempt to cross Antarctica.
(SFC, 11/26/11, p.A2)
2011 Dec 25, Anti-whaling
activists intercepted Japan's harpoon fleet far north of Antarctic
waters, with the help of a military-style drone.
2012 Jan 4, Anti-whaling
activists claimed a small victory in their Antarctic campaign with
the discovery of a Japanese harpoon ship.
2012 Jan 10, Three Vietnamese
crew from a South Korean fishing boat died and seven others suffered
burns after a fire broke out on their trawler off Antarctica. the
Busan-flagged Jeong Woo 2 was fishing for the rare Patagonian
toothfish, along with ray, crab and other bottom fishes.
2012 Jan 17, Grant Korgan (33),
of Incline Village, arrived at the South Pole on the 100-year
anniversary of the Terra Nova Expedition. Korgan, paralyzed in a
2010 snowmobiling accident, used a device called a Sitski to get
there. The expedition party included paralympian John Davis, two
guides and cinematographers who were shooting for a documentary
called "The Push: A South Pole Adventure." The film is expected to
be released later this year.
2012 Jan 23, British adventurer
Felicity Aston (34) finished her Antarctic crossing, becoming the
first woman to ski across the icy continent alone.
2012 Jan 26, Two Australian
adventurers reached home and made Antarctic history by becoming the
first team to travel unaided to the South Pole and back, surviving
three months of "extreme hardship." James Castrission (29) an
accountant, and Justin Jones (28), a scientist, skied 2,270 km
(1,400 miles) to complete the arduous trek. The pair reached had the
Pole on December 31.
2012 Feb 6, Russian researchers
said that they had succeeded in drilling through four km (2.5 miles)
of ice to the surface of Lake Vostok, a sub-glacial Antarctic lake
which could yield important scientific discoveries.
(AFP, 2/6/12)(SFC, 2/7/12, p.A7)
2012 Feb 22, Anti-whaling
campaigners Sea Shepherd attacked a Japanese whaling ship in the
Antarctic Ocean by firing paint bombs at it and trying to jam its
propeller with ropes.
2012 Feb 25, A fire at Brazil's
research station in Antarctica killed two navy personnel and forced
the evacuation by helicopter of 44 people. The people at the station
at the time of the fire were transferred to Chile's Eduardo Frei
2012 Feb 28, A coalition of
environment groups called for the world's largest marine reserve to
be declared in Antarctica's Ross Sea to prevent "industrial scale"
fishing ruining the pristine ecosystem.
2012 Apr 6, A Russian-Ukrainian
crew of 8 on board the 29-meter Scorpius yacht, that set sail in
September on an historic expedition around the South and North
Poles, went missing in the Antarctic.
2012 Dec 25, The British
Antarctic Survey (BAS), an ambitious plan to search for minute forms
of life in an ancient lake beneath Antarctica's ice, was suspended
because of technical problems.
2013 Jan 23, A small plane
crashed in an Antarctic mountain range while carrying 3 Canadians
between scientific research stations on the continent.
2013 Feb 6, British researchers
unveiled the Halley VI Research Station, a futuristic Antarctic
research base that can move, sliding across the frozen surface to
beat the shifting ice and pounding snow that doomed its
2013 Feb 20, An anti-whaling
activist group accused a Japanese whaling vessel of intentionally
ramming two of its ships in waters near Antarctica. Japan's
Fisheries Agency, however, insisted the protesters were responsible
for the collisions.
2013 Mar 11, A lab analyzing
Russian findings of a new form of microbial life in Lake Vostok, a
giant freshwater lake hidden under kilometers of Antarctic ice, said
it was not new bacteria that generated the signal, but
2013 Apr 15, Australian and
British researchers reported that the summer ice melt in parts of
Antarctica is at its highest level in 1,000 years, adding new
evidence of the impact of global warming on sensitive Antarctic
glaciers and ice shelves.
2013 Apr 17, A Chinese factory
fishing ship caught fire just off the coast of Antarctica and 97
crew members were rescued by a nearby Norwegian vessel as Chile's
military mobilized to prevent any environmental damage.
2013 Apr 21, The Chinese
factory fishing ship Kai Xin, that burned last week off Antarctica,
sank without anyone on board.
2013 Jul 16, The countries that
regulate Antarctic fishing faced apparent Russian objections and
failed to agree on proposals to create giant marine sanctuaries in
the continent's oceans.
2013 Nov 1, In Tasmania intl.
negotiations ended after China, Russia and Ukraine scuttled plans to
create the world's largest ocean sanctuary in Antarctica. The
sanctuary plans were led by the Antarctic Ocean Alliance which
campaigns for protecting the Antarctic seas. For the sanctuary
proposals to pass, they needed backing from all 200 delegates from
25 member countries, many of which have conflicting interests.
(Reuters, 11/1/13)(SFC, 11/2/13, p.A2)
2013 Dec 1, Two Australian
scientists and their pilot were injured when their helicopter made
an emergency landing in Antarctica, leaving them stranded overnight
on the ice.
2013 Dec 7, Two Japanese
whaling ships and a surveillance vessel left for the annual hunt in
the Antarctic Sea. The three ships departed from the western port of
Shimonoseki to join other ships to hunt up to 935 Antarctic minke
whales and up to 50 fin whales through March.
2013 Dec 13, Prince Harry
became the first member of Britain's royal family to reach the South
Pole after a three-week charity trek with injured military veterans
from Britain, the United States, Canada and Australia.
2013 David Day authored
Antarctica: A Biography.
(Econ, 6/15/13, p.81)
2013 Gavin Francis authored
Empire Antarctica: Ice, Silence & Emperor Penguins.
(Econ, 10/19/13, p.89)
2014 Jan 2, A Chinese
helicopter rescued all 52 passengers from the MV Akademik
Shokalskiy Russian research ship that has been trapped in Antarctic
ice since Christmas Eve after weather conditions finally cleared
enough for the operation. The passengers were all transported to an
Australian icebreaker in the area.
2014 Jan 5, A US Coast Guard
heavy icebreaker left Australia for Antarctica to rescue more than
120 crew members aboard Chinese and Russian icebreakers trapped in
pack ice near the frozen continent's eastern edge.
2014 Jan 7, A Chinese
icebreaker and a Russian research vessel -- broke free from thick
Antarctic ice where they had been trapped for days.
2014 Mar 31, The International
Court of Justice ordered a temporary halt to Japan's Antarctic
whaling program, ruling that it is not for scientific purposes as
the Japanese government had claimed.
2014 May 12, A NASA study said
the West Antarctic ice sheet is starting a slow collapse in an
(SFC, 5/13/14, p.A4)
2014 Jul 29, Japan announced
that it had wrapped up a whale hunt in the Pacific, the second
campaign since the UN's top court ordered Tokyo to halt a separate
slaughter in the Antarctic. The country's fisheries agency said 115
whales were killed during the two-and-a-half month campaign.
2014 Aug 22, It was reported
that scientists have discovered a living ecosystem under 2,500 feet
of ice in Antarcticas subglacial Lake Whillans.
(SFC, 8/21/14, p.D3)